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US 'makes progress' with DPRK on food assistance

By Zhou Wa (China Daily)

08:31, March 08, 2012

Robert King, US Special envoy on human rights in the Democratic Republic of Korea, meets with journalists at a hotel in Beijing on Wednesday. The two sides are scheduled to meet again on Thursday. (Zhu Xingxin / China Daily)

Washington and Pyongyang made progress on Wednesday during a meeting to discuss nutrition assistance, while cross-border relations between Pyongyang and Seoul remained strained.

The two sides "made progress", after they "discussed a number of the (nutrition assistance) issues", Robert King, the US envoy on human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, said after the talks in Beijing with the delegation from Pyongyang.

King's counterpart was deputy director general of the North American Affairs Bureau of Pyongyang's foreign ministry, said Yonhap News.

"We had two very good sessions today we'll still have issues to resolve and will be meeting tomorrow to deal with those issues," he told reporters at his hotel.

He said the nutrition assistance program was complicated, and refused to provide more details about the talks.

In a short briefing on Wednesday morning, King said the US looked forward to helping pregnant women, nursing mothers, young children and the elderly in the DPRK through the nutrition assistance program.

"We need to work out the details," said King, adding that the US needs to ensure that the program will proceed without any problems and that the assistance will reach those who need help.

The talks came after the DPRK announced on Feb 29 that it would suspend its nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and uranium enrichment activity as agreed two weeks ago during high-level talks with the US in Beijing.

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